Daily Archives: March 11, 2011


The Berkeley Wire: 03.11.11

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Drum roll please… Berkeleyside would like to thank our current advertisers for their support: Amoeba MusicBAM/PFABentley SchoolCarolyn Jones at The Grubb Company, Dansuich.comEcology Center StoreFocal PointJewish Music FestivalKeneuoe VivereMoe’s BooksPIQ, and Telegraph Berkeley. We very much appreciate your support.

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Block party planned on anniversary of Berkeley homicide

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Six months ago, on Sept. 12, 2010, 35-year-old Adolfo Ignacio Celedón Bravo and his fiancée, Amber Nelson, were walking home from a party when they were ambushed and robbed near Ashby BART. Two assailants shot and killed Celedón.

The randomness of the murder shocked the Berkeley community and the crime is still unsolved.

To mark the six-month anniversary of his death, and to honor the Chilean native, who was known as Fito to his family and friends, Nelson is organizing an all-day block party in Berkeley. It’s the way Fito would have appreciated being remembered, Nelson writes in information she has circulated about the event. … Continue reading »

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Video: Tsunami makes its way through Bay, in Emeryville

Thanks to David Malone, who sent us this fascinating video, shot by Mark Demma, of the tsunami wave triggered by yesterday’s Japan quake, making its way through the Bay in Emeryville.

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Eighty-five Berkeley teachers face possible pink slips

BUSD rally posters
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By Chris Hammond

About 85 Berkeley school teachers might not have a job next school year if California’s budget doesn’t improve. At Wednesday’s Berkeley Unified School District Board of Education meeting, staff reported that the district would have a tough time re-hiring many of them, all of whom are temporary teachers.

Teachers will not find out until this summer whether they will be hired back. That’s because the state education budget hinges on proposed June ballot measures to extend and increase taxes needed to keep teachers on the payroll.

“Our practice is to send notices to them all, and then bring them back as we get vacancies,” said BUSD Assistant Superintendent Delia Ruiz.  “We have to respect the budget, but we don’t want to lose good teachers.” … Continue reading »

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Berkeley students stop everything…. to read

Kriss Worthington reads to third graders at LeConte
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Students in Berkeley schools dropped all their work this morning to stop… and listen to a community member read.

It was all part of the district’s 18th annual DEAR day, which stands for “Drop Everything And Read.”

LeConte Elementary School was eerily quiet between 9:30 and 10 am as students gathered on area rugs and listened to stories. City Councilman Kriss Worthington read to a third-grade class. Wendy Cohen, Berkeleyside’s Advertising Director, read to a fifth grade class.

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Tsunami makes it to Bay Area: photographed in Emeryville

Tsunami 2
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Berkeleyside reader Steven Winter, aka Dr Speed, sent in this fabulous photo taken this morning at 9:38am in Emeryville, which shows evidence of the tsunami triggered by yesterday’s earthquake in Japan. Not quite in Berkeley, but close.

Update, 3 p.m.: And, below, another photo, taken from a slightly different angle, of that tsunami sent in by Nick Kordesch (who thinks he must work in the same building as Steven Winter!):


Josh Thomsen gathers talent for Claremont wine fest

Josh Thomsen
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Josh Thomsen knew from a young age that he wanted to be a chef and credits his late father, Jerry, for sparking his culinary interest. His dad would put in a long day as a stockbroker, come home, go to the market, and then cook up a storm — making a mess, using every pot in the house, and turning out a delicious dinner.

The Culinary Institute of America grad has done his dad proud. Thomsen’s resumé includes stints at the French Laundry in Yountville, Hotel Bel Air in Los Angeles, and The Lodge at Pebble Beach. He’s also worked in kitchens in big-buck Las Vegas venues like Tao Restaurant at the Venetian Resort, the Mansion at the MGM Grand Hotel, and the Michael Mina-owned Nobhill Tavern.

These days Thomsen, 40, is the executive chef at local landmark The Claremont Hotel, Club, and Spa, known for its regal white facade and killer views. Until recently, though, the hotel wasn’t exactly known as a destination dining experience. … Continue reading »

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Gordo Taqueria expands with Telegraph Avenue location

Gordos Telegraph
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A welcome addition to Telegraph Avenue — it’s been there a while, we were just a little slow off the mark — is Gordo, the sixth restaurant in the popular Bay Area taqueria group’s portfolio. It joins Berkeley’s existing Gordo on College Avenue and four more, three in San Francisco and one in Albany.

The new Gordo is located at 2404 Telegraph at Channing in one of the retail spaces available in the Telegraph Commons building, which … Continue reading »

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Tsunami warning for Bay Area after 8.9 quake in Japan

Inundation map
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The National Weather Service has issued a tsunami warning for Northern California, following last night’s magnitude 8.9 quake off the coast of Japan. The warning estimates wave heights of 2 feet for Fort Point. The tsunami is expected to reach the Bay Area at just after 8 a.m. this morning. Numerous roads in the Bay Area are being closed by the California Highway Patrol in anticipation of the tsunami.

Although those wave heights may not sound very large, the energy behind a tsunami wave can be far greater than much higher conventional waves. People in tsunami areas should move inland and to higher elevations. The National Weather Service provides advice on tsunamis on its site. … Continue reading »